Written by Stefano Spinaci (1st edition),
Cross-border payments are crucial for the integration of the EU economy, and play an important role in ensuring that citizens and enterprises from all EU Member States enjoy the same rights offered by the single market. Currently, restrictions and excessive costs affecting cross-border payments are an impediment to the completion of this market.
Since the introduction of the euro, the EU has launched various initiatives to reduce the cost of cross-border transactions, among them a set of single euro payments area (SEPA) standards, regulations on cross-border payments, and the Payment Services Directives.
Nevertheless, cross-border euro payments made in non-euro-area Member States are still subject to high fees. Furthermore, when paying with a card or making an ATM withdrawal in a country using a currency other than the euro, it is almost impossible to know exactly how much it is going to cost.
On 28 March 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 and aimed at making cross-border payments in euros cheaper across the entire EU, while also bringing more transparency to currency-conversion practices.
- October 2018: ‘Cross-border euro transfers and currency conversions: A step forward in favour of the single market‘ (1st edition)